How to Measure Training Intensity
Are you working your butt off, sweating like crazy and still not seeing results? Chances are you’re not working as hard as you think you are. This becomes an issue when you don’t get the results you expect. Many people, especially those who are just beginning their fitness journey don’t have their endurance built up for training yet, which can make even low intensity workouts feel like a challenge. If you’re not training as hard as you should be, you won’t get the results you’re aiming for. Training intensity is important for both muscle mass and weight loss, but for this episode we’re going to uncover how to decide whether you’re training with the correct intensity for your fat loss goals. As many of you may already know, there’s more to weight loss than only training hard. If your main focus for losing weight is through your workouts and maintaining a strictly-tracked diet at maintenance level, then you need to be sure that they are intense enough to begin burning those calories and spiking your heart rate. Training with a higher intensity is important during weight loss because it spikes your heart rate, burns more calories, and increases your metabolism for roughly 24 hours. If you’re struggling with weight loss, then this means that you’re not actually in a caloric deficit. When relying on your workouts to get into a deficit for weight loss, your training intensity needs to be increased. Many people gauge the intensity of their workouts with how much they’re sweating, how hard they’re breathing, or how much pain they’re in after training. Although all of these things positively correlate with the intensity of your workouts, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your workouts are as intense as they need to be. Sometimes people come into the gym unaware of how hard they truly need to be working because they have nothing to compare the experience to. Here’s how to decide whether or not you’re training as hard as you need to be to achieve unbelievable results. The first step is to begin doing the first portion of your workout. You can do the first set of your weight training or if you’re doing cardio, jog for five minutes at your normal pace and then rest. Once you’ve come to a rest, it’s time to measure the intensity of your training. What we’re measuring is your heart rate during your training. Take your index and middle fingers and place them (a) over the underside of your wrist or (b) the side of your neck, near the top of your jaw. Set a timer for 30 seconds and count how many times you feel your pulse. Multiply that number by 2 and that is your current heart rate. What does all of this mean? Your heart rate measures the intensity of your training. This means that if your number is lower than your target heart rate, then it’s time to step it up a notch. There’s a formula to figure out what your target heart rate should be. This will answer your questions about whether your workouts are truly as intense as you say they are. Take 220 and subtract your age. This will give you your max heart rate (also known as MHR). Example: I’m 21 years old. 220-21= 199. My max heart rate is 199 beats per minute. Next we will decide how intense we want the workouts to be. Moderate training intensity is between 50-70% of your max heart rate. If you’re looking for an intense training session, you want to aim between 70-85% of your MHR. (220 – your age) x 70-85% This formula is your target heart rate. When you train, you want to be sure that your heart rate is falling within this range for a truly vigorous exercise program. This is when calories start burning and your metabolism speeds up during and after your training. Let’s put it all together now. Step 1. Take your MHR from the example above: 220-21 = 199 Step 2. Multiply your MHR by 0.70: 199×0.70 = 139 Step 3. Multiply your MHR by 0.85: 199×0.85 = 169 Now use the numbers you got in step 2 & 3 to monitor your heart rate (by checking your pulse) during your exercise and decide whether you need to step it up a notch. In the above examples, my heart rate should fall between 139 to 169 beats per minute if I want to burn calories for weight loss. Remember that 139 is a lower intensity while 169 is a higher intensity. For the most effective and intense training, you want your heart rate to fall somewhere within the higher range. Go in with a target heart rate in mind and measure your pulse throughout your training to be sure that you are training to achieve the best results.
Comment below with what your MHR should be when you train!